2 Weird Ways to Get Stronger Abs

Everyone is searching for the magic bullet for stronger, more defined abs.

And there's a million articles out there selling you how to get a six pack or how to get ripped abs.

The problem is that once they tell you how important it is to train your core, they leave you with a list of exercises like planks and crunches.

Well, unless you're extremely weak, planks and crunches aren't going to get the job done.

Any grandma who takes a "buns and guns" class at the local YMCA is capable of doing those exercises.

In order to really build a strong, functional core, you need to train your abs to contract hard against some serious resistance.

Here are 2 ways, that no one talks about, to build a strong core.

Single Kettlebell Training

The first way to build a stronger core is by not even doing an ab exercise - it's simply training with a single kettlebell.

At this point, I assume you're training with kettlebells to burn fat and get stronger. (and if you're not, please read more of the articles on this site)

When you swing, clean, squat, press and get up with a single kettlebell, your abs are contracting as hard as they can to prevent you from twisting and bending under the asymmetrical load.

That's part of what makes kettlebell training so great; while you're building muscle, endurance, strength, mobility and burning fat you're also taxing your core muscles to the max.

You're training your abs to do what they're designed to do, provide stability to your spine while you transfer power from your lower body to your upper body.

So just by doing your regular kettlebell training, you're building a bulletproof set of abs without ever having to do an "ab exercise".

Loaded Carries

The second way to train your core is with loaded carries.

Loaded carries are one of the best movements to develop serious core strength, build resilient shoulders and turn you into a better athlete.

In a loaded carry, you'll pick up 1 or 2 kettlebells (or dumbbells) in various positions and just walk around with them.

Simple, natural, old school, hard-core ab training.

Try picking up half your body weight in each hand and walk around with it, you’ll see what I mean.

Here are a few of the many variations of loaded carries.

Farmer Carry – Walk with 2 heavy kettlebells by your side.

Suitcase Carry – Walk with 1 heavy kettlebell by your side.

Rack Carry – Walk with 1 or 2 heavy kettlebells in the rack position (on your chest).

Overhead Carry – Walk with 1 or 2 heavy kettlebells locked out overhead.

Mixed Carry – Walk with 2 heavy kettlebells in different positions. 1 overhead, 1 in the rack. 1 suitcase, 1 rack. 1 overhead, 1 suitcase, etc.


As long as you have a pulse and haven't been rendered bedridden for the last few years, you're likely beyond planks and crunches.

If you want to develop a set of bulletproof abs, single kettlebell training and loaded carries deliver.

In Strength and Health,